- Published: Wednesday, 19 December 2018 06:11
The state of oneness between the soul and the Absolute or God. The term is used more commonly among Christian mystics such as Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. It is the highest state of spiritual perfection attainable, and is equivalent to the NIRVANA of Buddhists and FANA among the Muslim Sufis.
In mystical Christianity, mystical union is preceded by three identifiable states in the spiritual life of the aspirant. The first is the awakening where the soul feels a divine discontent that cannot be quenched by material, social or psychological objects. Then follows a period of purification, where the attachments of the soul to objects are gradually cleansed and dissipated. This is the first “dark night” of John of the Cross – the “dark night of the senses.” Among those who successfully overcome the obstacles to spiritual growth, there may come a time when the state of illumination is experienced.